Lanolin use while Breastfeeding
Drugs containing Lanolin: Lansinoh for Breast Feeding Mothers, Lan-O-Soothe, Alpha Keri, Thera Derm, AlphaBath, Eucerin Unscented, Soothe and Cool Free Medseptic Skin Protectant, Lanolor Cream, Lantiseptic Dry Skin Therapy, Lantiseptic Original Skin Protectant, Show all 13 »Tender Care, Lanolin Hydrous, Lansinoh for Healthy Feet
Lanolin Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding
Summary of Use during Lactation
Lanolin is a yellow fat obtained from sheep's wool. It has traditionally been used topically to treat sore, cracked nipples during breastfeeding. Highly purified modified lanolin (Lansinoh) has the pesticide and detergent residues removed and the natural free alcohols reduced to below 1.5% to improve safety and reduce the allergic potential. Although lanolin appears to be effective for the prevention and treatment of nipple pain from breastfeeding, studies, most of which used Lansinoh, have not found lanolin to be consistently different in efficacy from application of breastmilk, hydrogel dressings, peppermint gel, aloe vera or warm compresses. A metaanalysis concluded that application of nothing or breastmilk may be superior to lanolin, but good studies are lacking. One small nonblinded study found olive oil to be superior to lanolin for prevention of sore nipples, and another small, single-blinded study found that lanolin application to painful nipples did not decrease nipple pain compared to usual care.
Maternal Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
Effects in Breastfed Infants
Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk
In a randomized, double-bind trial, lanolin was compared to an all-purpose nipple ointment containing mupirocin 1%, betamethasone 0.05%, and miconazole 2% for painful nipples while nursing in the first 2 weeks postpartum. The two treatments were equally effective in reducing nipple pain, nipple healing time, breastfeeding duration, breastfeeding exclusivity rate, mastitis and nipple symptoms, side effects or maternal satisfaction with treatment.
A randomized trial in nursing women with damaged, painful nipples compared lanolin application to usual care, which was a variable mix of education or assistance by health professional, application of warm or cool compresses, analgesics, air drying the nipples or the use of breast shields. A blinded observer assessed healing via telephone calls to the mothers several times after randomization. No differences were found in nipple pain between the groups 4 to 7 days after randomization. No difference was found in breastfeeding self-efficacy at 4 days post-randomization or in the breastfeeding rates of the two groups at 4 and 12 weeks postpartum. Patient satisfaction with care was higher in the women who received lanolin.
1. Mohammadzadeh A, Farhat A, Esmaeily H. The effect of breast milk and lanolin on sore nipples. Saudi Med J. 2005;26:1231-4. PMID: 16127520
2. Vieira F, Bachion MM, Mota DD, Munari DB. A systematic review of the interventions for nipple trauma in breastfeeding mothers. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2013;45:116-25. PMID: 23452043
3. Morland-Schultz K, Hill PD. Prevention of and therapies for nipple pain: a systematic review. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2005;34:428-37. PMID: 16020410
4. Sayyah Melli M, Rashidi M R, Nokhoodchi A et al. A randomized trial of peppermint gel, lanolin ointment, and placebo gel to prevent nipple crack in primiparous breastfeeding women. Med Sci Monit. 2007;13:CR406-11. PMID: 17767120
5. Abou-Dakn M, Fluhr JW, Mo G, Woeckel A. Positive effect of HPA lanolin versus expressed breastmilk on painful and damaged nipples during lactation. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2010;24:27-35. PMID: 20720454
6. Tafazoli M, Saeedi R, Gholami Robatsangi M, Mazloom R. [Aloevera gel vs. lanolin ointment in the treatment of nipple sore: A randomized clinical trial]. Tehran Univ Med J. 2010;67:699-704.
7. Shanazi M, Farshbaf Khalili A, Kamalifard M et al. Comparison of the effects of lanolin, peppermint, and dexpanthenol creams on treatment of traumatic nipples in breastfeeding mothers. J Caring Sci. 2015;4:297-307. PMID: 26744729
8. Dodd V, Chalmers C. Comparing the use of hydrogel dressings to lanolin ointment with lactating mothers. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2003;32:486-95. PMID: 12903698
9. Pugh LC, Buchko BL, Bishop BA et al. A comparison of topical agents to relieve nipple pain and enhance breastfeeding. Birth. 1996;23:88-93. PMID: 8826172
10. Dennis CL, Jackson K, Watson J. Interventions for treating painful nipples among breastfeeding women. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;12: CD007366. PMID: 25506813
11. Gungor AN, Oguz S, Vurur G, Gencer M, Uysal A, Hacivelioglu S et al. Comparison of olive oil and lanolin in the prevention of sore nipples in nursing mothers. Breastfeed Med. 2013;8:334-5. PMID: 23249138
12. Jackson KT, Dennis CL. Lanolin for the treatment of nipple pain in breastfeeding women: A randomized controlled trial. Matern Child Nutr. 2016. PMID: 27477840
13. Dennis CL, Schottle N, Hodnett E, McQueen K. An all-purpose nipple ointment versus lanolin in treating painful damaged nipples in breastfeeding women: A randomized controlled trial. Breastfeed Med. 2012;7:473-9. PMID: 22428572
CAS Registry Number
LactMed Record Number
Last Revision Date
Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. The U.S. government does not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.
More about lanolin topical
- Side Effects
- Support Group
- 1 Review – Add your own review/rating
- Drug class: topical emollients